Organized Home

Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Organized Families

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 19, 2018

Is there time to clean house? Not for today's busy families!

Between work, children's activities, and vacation plans, even the most leisurely days don't seem long enough to get everything done at home.

There's a solution for busy times! Just as your body needs a "minimum daily allowance" of vitamins and minerals, an organized home needs a minimum of maintenance and attention to keep running smoothly.

Seasonal Clothing Declutter: Who's Living In Your Closet?

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 16, 2018

Once again, I mark the coming of autumn with a clothing closet declutter.

I wade into the closet and find the boxes of out-of-season clothing. Try everything on, skin itching at the touch of wool when the temperature's 80 degrees.

Sort the summer's keepers from items to donate. Look for "holes" and orphans in my autumn wardrobe. Count the upcoming dinners and holiday events, and divide them by the number of my party dresses. Try, for the 900th time, to locate some good transitional outfits: cool enough for warm autumn days, but not too summery or too bare.

A closet declutter is more a ritual celebration of the change of seasons. It's a time for reflection, a time to face up to changing identities. Who's living in your clothes closet?

Tame Morning Madness with a Family Launch Pad

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 14, 2018

Morning Madness! Only the pre-dinner "Arsenic Hour" comes close in the "Calgon, take me away!" category.

Bathroom fights, soggy cereal, and the ever-present, "Mommy! I can't find my . . . !"

Getting the family out the door in the morning can make any parent want to pull the bedclothes up and hide.

One small concept can go a long way to taming the morning beast: the family Launch Pad. Just as a spaceship must have a dedicated structure to support liftoff, so family members need a Launch Pad to stabilize them as they blast out the door.

Get Organized for Homeschool

In my years as worker, mother and home manager, I have experienced a full range of life’s little organizational challenges. I have run a business from a home shared with two tiny children and moved cross-country (and back). I've merged two cluttered households into one small city apartment, and lived for many happy years with a card-carrying packrat husband.

The challenge of home schooling a child beat them all hands-down, organizationally speaking.

Teaching Kids The Planner Habit

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 11, 2018

Teachers, parents and homeschool families know that training kids to the planner habit makes for successful students.

School districts throughout the USA issue planners to pupils and integrate planner use into the school day. Homeschool families use planners to track and organize lessons, chores and activities, while tech-savvy teens rely on smartphone calendar and to-do apps to organize their work.

A student planner is only a tool. How do you teach a child to use one? Try these tips to teach kids the planner habit.

Get Organized: Tips to Help With Homework

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 10, 2018

The start of a new school year means fresh supplies and new outfits ... and their less-welcome cousin, homework. How will you handle daily homework sessions in your organized home?

To stave off homework battles, it pays to make a plan. Creating a homework routine undercuts foot-dragging, while setting up a homework station keeps distractions to a minimum. Having a plan for homework accountability encourages student responsibility--and sees to it that homework gets done on time.

Ready to plan for homework? Try these tips to get it done swiftly, done right during the coming school year.

Kids and Clothing: Win the Wardrobe Wars

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 9, 2018

What to wear? For many families, this simple question is a daily flash-point for conflict on school mornings.

A budding fashionista throws a tantrum if a given outfit doesn't meet her standards, while another child insists on wearing one favorite shirt day after day--laundered or not. Younger children resist getting dressed at all, delaying the whole family's departure--and everyone's mood descends to the basement before the day has even begun.

Win the wardrobe wars! Try these ideas to get 'em up, dressed and off to school on time.

Gear Up for School Lunches

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 8, 2018

Will you add "pack school lunches" to your to-do list when school starts? Time to get organized!

School-day mornings veer to frazzled in a heartbeat, and never more so than when trying to pack lunches while locating laundry, overseeing homework and calling children to breakfast.

Give yourself a break, and take time now to prepare for the school lunch routine. With nine months of lunch duty ahead, planning school lunch menus will make it easy to pack the sacks each day!

Printables:  Back-to-School Lunch Planner

Create A Family Command Center

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 7, 2018

Each day in your household, the questions fly. What time is soccer practice? Do we need to buy milk? Is the family free to attend a barbecue this weekend?

Even in an age of smartphones, each household needs a one-stop location to find the answers: a family command center.

Information central for busy families, a family command center cuts school-day stress by creating a single location to find calendars, information and messages needed by the family each day.

Today in the Back-to-School Countdown, we'll set up--or spiff up!--a family command center to keep life running smoothly.

Set Up A Family Launch Pad

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 6, 2018

It's not just our family that exits the door each morning during the school, it's our stuff! Can you find what you need to get the children off to school on time each day?

Briefcases and backpacks, library books and lunch sacks travel with us in and out of the house each day. Arriving home, these possessions scatter to the winds; in the morning, precious time is wasted rounding them up for another day's use.

If you're playing too many games of "Where's the permission slip?", it's time to consider taming the chaos with a family launch pad.

Start Now: Crafting School-Day Routines

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 5, 2018

Kindergarten teachers know a powerful organizing principle: reliable routines are the secret to a successful school day.

Well-crafted classroom routines give pupils a sense of security--and ensure that the day moves smoothly through each planned activity.

Put that organizing secret to work in your organized home!

Today in the Back-to-School Countdown, it's time to craft morning, after-school and evening routines for the school year.

Organize Kids' Rooms for School Success

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 4, 2018

The start of school puts new demands on children's bedrooms. Can the kids find clothing during the morning rush? Where will they do their homework?

To kick off a new school year from an organized home, it's time to declutter, deep-clean and organize children's rooms.

Working with your child, tackle kids' rooms now for school-day success. Remove clutter, organize toys and clothing, and bring a fresh new feeling to your children's private space.

Ready to start? Get inspired to create an organized, supportive space for your little learner:

8 Great Tips to Organize Kids' Rooms

10 Money-Saving Tips for School Clothes

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 3, 2018

Gearing up for a new school year? Don't get sticker shock when shopping for school clothes!

The cost of clothing the children for a new school year can be staggering. Even clothing in good repair may no longer fit a growing youngster after the summer holiday. If you've got a budding fashionista on your hands, your child's list of must-have items can swell out of all reality.

How to send them back to school in style ... and on budget? Try these ten ideas for saving money on school clothes.

Printables:  Back-To-School Clothing Checklist

No More Paper Chase: Organize School-Year Information

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 1, 2018

The start of school brings a brisk new tempo to the household, sweeping away the sweet leisure of summer--and the first day of school can bring an unwelcome splash of busy reality.

Will you be ready? Get organized now to sail into school with ease!

On Day 3 of the Back-to-School Countdown, we focus on information, contacts and appointments. It's time to gather paperwork, start a school-year contacts list, and schedule any needed appointments in good time for the first day of school.

Printables:  Back-To-School Information Planner

Print the Ultimate Back-to-School Checklist

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on July 30, 2018

Welcome to Day 1 of the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown!

In spite of long and lazy summer days, a new school year is on the horizon. To be ready for the first day of school, there are lists to make and appointments to keep, paperwork to be processed and shopping to be done.

Track them all with this ultimate back-to-school checklist! Free for the printing, it'll help you tick off back-to-school tasks and get organized for a new school year.

Printables:  Back-To-School Checklist

Do It Now Tips To Get Ready For Back-To-School

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on July 29, 2018

Move over, summer--a new school year is coming! With the start of school, families face new organization challenges.

School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks. Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house. Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind?

Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

Printables:  Back-To-School Checklist Back-To-School Clothing Checklist Back-To-School Lunch Planner Back-To-School Information Tracker Back-To-School Budget

Menu Planning: Save Time In The Kitchen

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on July 27, 2018

What's for dinner? It's the question of the hour!

Too many home managers look for answers in the supermarket at 5 p.m. Harried from the day's work and harassed by by hungry children, they rack their brains for an answer to the what's-for-dinner dilemma.

Three meals a day. Seven dinners a week. From supermarket to pantry, refrigerator to table, sink to cupboard, the kitchen routine can get old, old, old.

No wonder we hide our heads like ostriches from the plain and simple fact: into each day, one dinner must fall. What's the answer? A menu plan.

Printables:  food_menu_planner_weekly.pdf food_menu_planner_weekly_list.pdf food_menu_planner_monthly.pdf food_shopping_list_graphic.pdf

Welcome to the Back-to-School Countdown

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on July 25, 2018

A new school year is on the horizon! Time to prepare for back to school, with the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown.

Beginning Monday, July 30, we'll take two weeks to get organized, gear up and get ready to send the children back to school from an organized home.

Following an ultimate back-to-school checklist, the Back-to-School Countdown includes weekday reminders, free printables and inspiring articles to help you prepare for the first day of school.

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